Learning to Lead

60x57_Andy  by Andy

HELLO to everyone. I am Andy. Here comes my first ever blog for UniSA international, as well as the end of my second year studying. I am always excited about sharing and listening to stories. Feel free to share with me!

Experience ↔ Learning

I strongly recommend people look for different activities, especially outside of study. Apart from the textbooks, I believe in and enjoy ‘learning from experience’. I was on a leadership position in secondary school and also joined several leadership programs in Hong Kong. Those experiences have really benefitted me, in terms of personal growth, communication skills, time management and self-awareness.

This year I joined the UniSA leadership program which included an awesome event to end this year and it happened right here in Adelaide – TEDx Adelaide 2015.

What is TEDx?

TEDx crew
Volunteers TEDx Adelaide 2015

TED was created by an American architect and graphic designer, Richard Saul Wurman, in 1984, which was a convergence conference of the fields of technology, entertainment and design (that’s TED). Until today it covers almost all topics – science, music, business, health, culture, societyand global issues, you name it. The slogan tells accurately of what the
value and the mission of TED is: ‘Ideas worth spreading’. TEDx are events, which can be organised by individuals who obtain a license from TED.


TEDx Salon

TEDx volunteers
Volunteers, crews and one of the speakers, Damien Shen (second row, second from left) at TEDx Salon Adelaide2015

TEDx Salon event is a smaller event that keeps the TEDx community engaged between the main TEDx event. At the salon event, participants watch TED Talk videos together and it is a platform for everyone discussing what they think. This year it happened in the South Australian Museum on 1st October. Two speakers were invited as well on that day: Dr Diego Garcia-Bellido, an Honorary Research Associate at the SA Museum working on Cambrain Emu Bay Shale fossils and the Ediacara Biota, and, Damien Shen, artist and finalist in the 2015 Telstra National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Art Award.


UniSA Leadership Program

leadership1In the UniSA leadership program there are, in total, three stages: INSPIRE*, UNITE  and LEAD. I am in UNITE and our group first met each other in March. For the last ten months there have been a series of workshops and inspire seminars and  a three-day live in camp in Belair. It is a lovely place with a country park. Many activities were involved and facilitated by professional consultants and LEAD students. There were a lot of opportunities to think about what is leadership, reflect about myself and learn how to be the leader of myself.

TEDx Adelaide 2015 was the final big project of this year program. I was so grateful we could have being a part of the organising team. We were divided into five teams which were responsible for different parts of this year’s TEDx event in Adelaide. We worked closely with the event director, Robin Freeth, and many other clients and professionals and TEDx Adelaide team members who gave a lot of pertinent support and guidance to us. There were many tasks and challenges along the journey, about the team forming, onward progress and achievement and communication. It was a real event happening in the society so everything had to be taken very seriously. The people we were working with were real professional people in this city. Here is the best thing, that it was an excellent opportunity for a student getting contact to the real work and relationship network. They were not asking us to produce a great work all by our own. There was a team of people continuously helping and supporting us. Therefore we were given a fabulous learning experience and were able to make an impact on the real event, like there was one activity on the TEDx Adelaide 2015 which was initiated by one of our team. Although at times there were difficult parts to go through, the feeling of thrill and joy was unbeatable when we saw the event was really happening.


TEDx quote leadership2

Cherish your time in the university. If you don’t put one step outward, you will never know what more can you get, and your potential power. In a simple way, make good use of the resources of the university, as it provides many opportunities and activities. For example the leadership program mentioned above, is offered by the university to students at no cost, yet if you paid for it in the market it would cost thousands of dollars. Being a student, we are still young to try and experience everything. Don’t let yourself have regrets.

TEDx links:

Photo credits:

  • TEDxAdeliade OfficialUniversity of South Australia
  • University of South Australia facebook
  • Olivia Ting, Rifqi Adhyasa, Chris Ghan, members of UNITE leadership program 2015
  • … and myselfJ

*INSPIRE will be absorbed by the new student recognition award program launched in 2016. For more detail: UniSA leadership program


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